Verbal Abuse And The Love Addict
When we first met, we had a great time. We both thought we were happy and more in love than ever. After being together for six months, she had shoulder surgery and was off work for almost six months. I lived with her but owned a house (fixer-upper) almost an hour away.
I started to feel overwhelmed, I felt like she was controlling me and she was very jealous. I thought she was needy and smothering. I started to lash out and became verbally abusive. We went to see a therapist who said I should move out and take care of my stuff while she stays there and takes care of her things.
We were supposed to build a foundation but I was never able to go back to the therapist - since she began seeing her individually for her "love addiction." Our fights got worse and worse and we got to a point that we can't talk without arguing. We took a break for a few weeks and started talking for a few days until she now says I'm a liar; she accuses me of playing games and wanting to be in a relationship with my ex (which she has accused me of ever since I began speaking to this ex again - which happened to be right before the surgery).
I don't want to be with my ex and have never cared about or loved anyone more than my current girlfriend. She says that she never felt this way about anyone and never loved anyone so much either. Well, since the fights escalated to a point where someone could have gotten hurt and she thinks I've been playing games with her, she doesn't want to talk to me and says it's over and we will never be together because she can't take the verbal abuse.
I just finished reading a book "Love Addiction," and I think I have a better understanding of why the jealousy, insecurity, fights, smothering, neediness.... Before I knew these were some of the issues with a love addict, I did call her those things and was very verbally abusive. She was and still is very hurt by my words.
My question is: If she can forgive me and I get some anger management treatment do you think that we could have a healthy relationship? And, what advice would you give to get us started on repairing the damage. And how do we proceed and then continue our relationship on the right track?
Thanks you so much, in advance, for your help. She is the best thing that ever happened to me.
P.S. There is no excuse for my anger and abusive behavior. I became so angry and didn't know how else to respond (I'm currently in therapy and working on an anger management workbook). The more I felt controlled the louder I yelled and the more ignorant things I yelled.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. It is good that you're in therapy, and I encourage you to stick with that. since you are in therapy, and working on an anger management workbook, I will just suggest some things that you can do if you're not already doing them.
Tell your story--your personal story of past trauma, as described on this page. Also as directed on that page, begin a daily anger journal, to give your anger a safe, non-abusive outlet.
Then start shifting to a positive mindset, with the positive journaling exercise on the same page. This will help you a lot, but only if you use it regularly.
If your girlfriend does not want to pursue the relationship, I suggest you begin the letting go process. There may be too much damage, only you and she can decide that.
Focus on yourself, and make up your mind to be healthy, regardless of what happens with her. Believe in yourself and the good person that you are inside.
My very best to you,